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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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separation of organic compounds. The phenomena sometimes also afford curious evidence of chemical combinations; but this subject cannot here be further dwelt upon.
The appearance which the rays from an electric spark produce in a solution of sulphate of quinine, shows that the spark is very rich in invisible rays of excessively high refrangibility, such as would plainly put them far beyond the limits of the maps which have hitherto been made of the fixed lines in the chemical part of the solar spectrum. These rays are stopped by glass, but transmitted through quartz. These circumstances render it probable that the phosphorogenic rays of an electric spark are nothing more than rays of the same nature as those of light, but which are invisible, and not only so, but of excessively high refrangibility. If so, they ought to be stopped by a very small quantity of a substance known to absorb those rays with great energy. Accordingly the author found that while the rays from an electric spark which excite the phosphorescence of Canton's phosphorus pass freely through water and quartz, they are stopped on adding to the water an excessively small quantity of sulphate of quinine.
At the end of the paper the author explains what he conceives to be the cause of the change of refrangibility, and enters into some speculations to account for the law according to which the refrangibility of light is always lowered in the process of internal dispersion.